\ ˈtȯnt How to pronounce taunt (audio) , ˈtänt \
taunted; taunting; taunts

Definition of taunt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to reproach or challenge in a mocking or insulting manner : jeer at



Definition of taunt (Entry 2 of 2)

: a sarcastic challenge or insult

Other Words from taunt


taunter noun
tauntingly \ ˈtȯn-​tiŋ-​lē How to pronounce taunt (audio) , ˈtän-​ \ adverb

Synonyms for taunt

Synonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for taunt


ridicule, deride, mock, taunt mean to make an object of laughter of. ridicule implies a deliberate often malicious belittling. consistently ridiculed everything she said deride suggests contemptuous and often bitter ridicule. derided their efforts to start their own business mock implies scorn often ironically expressed as by mimicry or sham deference. youngsters began to mock the helpless wino taunt suggests jeeringly provoking insult or challenge. hometown fans taunted the visiting team

Taunt vs. Taut


Taunt and taut may easily be confused. The words are similar in spelling and pronunciation, though the resemblance does not extent to their syntax or meanings. Taut is an adjective that is most often used to refer to something that is pulled tight, like "a taut rope," or is bulging or filled to capacity, like "taut muscles." Taunt is a noun and a verb that refers to teasing or making fun of a person. That the two words sound similar creates confusion, and taunt, being the more common word, is sometimes substituted for taut. You can remember the difference between the two by remembering that tight and taut both lack the n of taunt.

Examples of taunt in a Sentence

Verb The boys continually taunted each other.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Onoda believes that American G.I.s may have placed it there to taunt him. Dan Piepenbring, The New Yorker, 16 June 2022 Guard 1, played by Richard P. Trujillo, is a rigid rule-follower, but Guard 2, played by Jada Alston Owens, bends the rules to both befriend and taunt Fay. San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 June 2022 The rare Game 7 blowout, with Goran Dragic leading the way with 25 points, Purple Shirt Guy from Charlotte no longer courtside to taunt Wade. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 28 May 2022 Diana apparently cultivated media attention more than is assumed, to play the media, to taunt media members, and in addressing past media taunts, Brown suggests the possibility that the latter played a role in her fatal accident. John Tamny, Forbes, 5 May 2022 Middle school classmates would taunt me, luring me into chat rooms under the false hope of friendship only to call me names and repeat them in school the next day. Shelli Nicole, Vogue, 22 Apr. 2022 After getting one dog riled, the fox would go down the street and taunt another. The New Yorker, 4 Apr. 2022 Cohen was in court earlier this week to seemingly taunt Avenatti. NBC News, 28 Jan. 2022 In the videos, Diana watched the masked men taunt Roma. New York Times, 30 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Facebook image with the anti-Biden taunt has been altered. Nayeli Lomeli, USA TODAY, 6 Nov. 2016 That private fear becomes a public taunt in Amsterdam, when the rapper is greeted by a horde of people in blackface. Nicole Acheampong, The Atlantic, 26 Mar. 2022 The Kremlin and its press organs airbrushed the taunt out of the official transcripts. The New Yorker, 13 Mar. 2022 On the beach, two alpha males tussled, one using his chest and large, trunklike nose (hence the name elephant seal) to push away a rival, while adding a final rumbling growl to intimidate — or maybe just taunt — the loser. Washington Post, 3 Feb. 2022 For those who have always thought of the idea of capturing every Pokémon as a kind of in-game taunt that no one really attempts, battling is a more mixed bag. Will Bedingfield, Wired, 2 Feb. 2022 Every chorus of that taunt just seemed to hang there, like breath in the cold night air. Dan Wiederer, chicagotribune.com, 15 Dec. 2021 When the Chargers took the Allegiant Stadium field Sunday night, somebody turned off all the lights, and through the darkness a singular voice boomed into a sing-song taunt that would continually haunt. Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times, 9 Jan. 2022 Magpie took it as a taunt and tried to suss out the identity of the jerk who teased her. Grayson Haver Currin, Outside Online, 7 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'taunt.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of taunt


1539, in the meaning defined above


circa 1527, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for taunt


perhaps from Middle French tenter to try, tempt — more at tempt

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Time Traveler for taunt

Time Traveler

The first known use of taunt was circa 1527

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Dictionary Entries Near taunt




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Statistics for taunt

Last Updated

24 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Taunt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/taunt. Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for taunt


\ ˈtȯnt How to pronounce taunt (audio) \

Kids Definition of taunt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a mean insulting remark


taunted; taunting

Kids Definition of taunt (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make fun of or say insulting things to

More from Merriam-Webster on taunt

Nglish: Translation of taunt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of taunt for Arabic Speakers


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